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CME Plans to Launch Spot Bitcoin Trading amid Futures Dominance: Report

Finance Magnates

Cryptocoins News / Finance Magnates 46 Views

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), known for operating one of the largest US-based futures exchanges, is planning to offer spot Bitcoin trading to its clients, according to a report by the Financial Times.

CME Expansion in Crypto Markets

Although not officially confirmed or commented on by the exchange, the plans to offer Bitcoin trading came when demand for the cryptocurrency among Wall Street money managers was surging. If launched, it would not be CME’s first foray into cryptocurrencies. The Chicago-based exchange is already operating a cryptocurrency futures exchange, which offers standard and micro futures contracts of Bitcoin and Ether. CME even ranks at the top of Bitcoin futures exchanges in terms of open interest, surpassing Binance, which otherwise dominates the spot market.

Although the report outlines that CME’s plan to launch Bitcoin trading is not yet finalised, it would allow investors to place so-called basis trades more easily, a common strategy among professional Bitcoin traders. Basis trades involve borrowing money to sell futures and simultaneously purchasing the underlying asset, opening the opportunity to profit from the small price gap between the two.

Mainstream Players in Crypto

Giants like Deutsche Börse also entered the cryptocurrency market this year. CME’s rival, CBOE Global Markets, is already offering crypto spot trading, which it will soon discontinue due to the country's lack of regulations.

Indeed, while Europe is gearing up for crypto regulations with the incoming Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), the US is lagging behind. While US regulators unanimously agreed to consider Bitcoin a commodity, the status of other crypto assets remains unclear. Recently, the company behind the popular wallet platform MetaMask sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prevent it from labelling Ethereum as a security. Meanwhile, Coinbase is already fighting a legal battle against the SEC over the clarification of crypto rules in the country.

Despite the murky regulations, the SEC approved Bitcoin exchange-traded funds last January, ending years of anticipation. These instruments have opened the opportunity to easily invest in Bitcoin for retail and institutional investors alike.

Meanwhile, Vanguard, which has maintained an anti-crypto stance, recently named Salim Ramji, the previous executive at BlackRock who oversaw the launch of Bitcoin ETF, as the incoming Chief Executive.

This article was written by Arnab Shome at
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